wall plugin with burnmarks from a/c...

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Old 05-05-14, 12:35 PM
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wall plugin with burnmarks from a/c...

Hi guys.

I use a window unit a/c and the only window where I can fit the big thing is by an 2 prong wall outlet that doesn't have a a 3rd hole in the outlet or ground wire. As far as I know anyway. I removed the casing and I only see 2 wires connected to the outlet.

So what I've been using is probably not the best idea but I got one of those little square adapters with 2 prongs to eliminate the ground. And I connect the a/c into that so I can go into the wall socket.

It works fine and doesn't trip the breaker or anything, but at the end of every season one of the prongs has a burned mark on it from the air conditioner an it worries me. It's happened for the last 2 years.

What would be the best course of action? Is it "safe" to keep using these adapters? Last year I asked the guy where I bought it and he said the voltage and amps were ok.

On the wall outlet its:

10A-250v, 15A - 125v

ac is a 15.000 btu,
12.0A - 115v

And the outlet adapter is:
15A - 125v

Sorry, I'm not that good with the electrics, maybe that info is not needed.
Anyway, would like some opinions.
I wouldn't mind replacing the whole outlet but I'm not sure what to do since there doesn't seem to be a ground wire behind it.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 12:43 PM
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Technically.... you could replace that receptacle with a GFI type. The receptacle wouldn't be grounded but would protect the A/C from un-intentional shorts to ground.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 12:49 PM
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<Simple>Replace the receptacle with a good quality GFCI receptacle. This provides your "third hole" and is still code compliant without a ground so long as you label the receptacle No equipment ground

<Better>If you have a metal receptacle box using a analog multimeter measure the voltage between the black wire and the metal box. If you have ~120 volts install a receptacle with ground and ground it to the box.

<Best>Install a new dedicated circuit for your A/C.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 01:17 PM
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Thanks so much guys, for the quick reply. I think I'm gonna go with the simple sollution for now but I will be considering the other options too later on.
 
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Old 05-05-14, 06:29 PM
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The most likely reason for the burn mark is that the prong was a little loose in the receptacle. Any loose connection tends to heat up. This is hazardous; a fire could start.

You should replace the receptacle. The metal parts in the slot are probably somewhat deformed by now from the heat that made the burn mark.
 
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Old 05-23-14, 03:14 PM
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Sorry for bumping this topic up from so long ago but I had family matters that caused my delay in going out and getting a GFCI receptacle.

I went to Home Depot, my only option other than Lowes and they guys there noticed me and asked what I was doing. When I explained to them what was going on, they said I couldn't use a GFCI since I don't think I have a ground wire in the first place, and insisted it'd by a regular (?) 20A-125v outlet that does have a ground hole, in case it's grounded to the box in the wall.
I dunno, guys. Again, my apologies but they had me so confused saying how it was not good to use the GFCI, etc etc...
So, now I'm sitting here looking at this outlet wondering if it's safe at all...
Said to install it like the one already in the wall and I wouldn't have to use the adapter for the a/c.

Leviton 20 Amp Weather Resistant Tamper-Resistant Duplex Outlet - White-R57-TWR20-00W at The Home Depot
 
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Old 05-23-14, 04:18 PM
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They are WRONG. You can use a GFI receptacle on an ungrounded circuit. They even give you stickers to put on the plate stating that fact.

Now....you don't know if you have a ground unless you have a meter to test for it.
 
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Old 05-23-14, 05:53 PM
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If the wiring means is not grounded a device connected to a metal box will not be grounded either.

As someone else already said the help at the store was wrong.

The issue you have is that Article 250.116 requires air conditioner to be used on grounded circuits.
 
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Old 05-23-14, 07:50 PM
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Thanks again, they just had me so worried that if I used a GFCI I would basically burn the house down. I'm going back to return this and get one. It's not the first time they've been wrong about stuff.
Thank you guys.
 
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Old 05-24-14, 07:08 AM
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I would use the GFCI receptacle until I could install some 12/2 W/G Romex & a SP 20 amp Circuit Breaker . The GFCI does NOT require an earth ground . As others have also said .

Some window shakers come with a GFCI device in the male cord cap . Not sure about yours ? Probably depends on how old it is ?

Are the prongs on the male discolored due to heat or burned looking ?

If so , not sure about 2 GFCI devices in series ?

Does the A/C need 15 amps or 20 amps ? How many BTU is it ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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